After enabling users to download vaccine certificates, the MyGov Corona Helpdesk on WhatsApp now allows users to locate their nearest vaccination centre and book their vaccine-appointment, the Union Ministry of Health and MyGov announced on Tuesday.
WhatsApp users across the country will now be able to use the chatbot in English as well as Hindi by simply sending 'Book Slot' to the WhatsApp number +91 9013151515, according to a statement.
The MyGov Corona Helpdesk "is enabling digital inclusion in the true sense as most people find the AI based interface enabled on WhatsApp easier to navigate. We are thankful to WhatsApp for their continued support in helping us unlock the true potential of this chatbot for citizen help and engagement throughout the trying times of the pandemic", said Abhishek Singh, CEO MyGov, in a statement.
"We are delighted to be associated with MyGov and the Ministry of Health. Whether it's about providing authentic Covid-related information or enabling vaccine-certificate downloads or, now, about accelerating and easing the process of vaccination bookings for people, our collaboration has unlocked technology's potential to extend benefits to citizens at scale," added Shivnath Thukral, Director - Public Policy, WhatsApp.
To contact MyGov Corona Helpdesk chatbot, citizens can save the WhatsApp number on their phones and start a chat by typing "Book Slot". This will generate a 6-digit one-time password on the respective mobile phone number.
Users can then choose a preferred date and location, based on the pincode and vaccine type. All users can follow this sequence to get a confirmation of their centre and day of their vaccine appointment.
Launched in March 2020, MyGov Corona Helpdesk on WhatsApp is powered by Haptik's AI solutions and supported by Turn.io.
It started as a basic helpline for FAQs during the start of the pandemic and has emerged as one of most authentic sources of Covid-related information during the pandemic and served as a critical instrument in fighting the public-health crisis for over 41 million users across India.
Earlier this month, on August 5, MyGov and WhatsApp also introduced the ability for users to download vaccine certificates from the chatbot and so far, over 32 lakh certificates have been downloaded by users across the country.